MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - Animals are being abandoned at the Berkeley Animal Center because families are going on vacation and no longer want them, says the County spokeswoman.
Over the last few weeks, the center off Cypress Gardens Road in Moncks Corner has dealt with a number of dog abandonments at its gates during non-business hours.
"During the summertime some people seem to think that having an animal is inconvenient," said spokeswoman Hannah Moldenhauer. "This summer we've seen more dogs come in, but we also are seeing a lot of cats. Some of the animals are coming in pregnant so we're not just getting one animal, we're getting an animal that's expecting and sometimes that can be an additional seven to eight animals."
The abandoned animals are creating some issues for the center. The building can only hold 69 dogs and 51 cats. In recent weeks, the staff has been taking care of up to 80 dogs, well above the building's capacity.
"This is not a place where people can board their animals," Moldenhauer said. "We've even had people who have called over the phone and said we want to drop off our animal, we're going on vacation for a few weeks and we don't really want our pet anymore. Well, you shouldn't have gotten a pet in the first place."
"That's ridiculous," said Leah Smoak, of Goose Creek. "You find someone to take care of your pets if you go on vacation, or you don't have pets if you can't take care of them."
Moldenhauer said on average they take in at least five new animals every day.
With the numbers on the rise at the center, they are seeking new families to come and adopt, however, do warn prospective families this is a lifetime commitment.
"Our goal here [at the center] is to give these animals a temporary home," Moldenhauer said. "We want to provide for them in the best way we can for an allotted amount of time until they find they're forever home."
"We're going to save a life and give a dog or a cat a happy home that wouldn't have had it," Smoak said.
While not everyone has room to adopt, Moldenhauer said they are always looking for foster families and donations for the center.
As a way to counteract the overcrowding, animals are now up for adoption at a reduced rate.
Cats above the age of two-years-old are free, while under two are $10. Dogs over the age of two-years-old are $10, under two are $15.
"We tend to see more adoptions on weekends, so on days like today we won't see that number, but we need that number," Moldenhauer said. "One of the great things about this center is that there are a variety of breeds. We also have cats, rabbits, and even a pig that was adopted."
It is illegal to abandon animals at the center by just dropping them off during non-hours, tying them to the gate, or dropping them off on the side of the road.
The center is looking to purchase surveillance cameras to catch people in the act who may illegally drop off animals.
The center does take animal surrenders, however, the owner must schedule an appointment to drop the pet off to prevent overcrowding.
The Bekeley Animal Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.